The Best Christmas Gifts on the List – Parenting Tips by Lisa Brown


Just about around Thanksgiving time every year Grandparents and my Husband ask me what I think the children want for Christmas.  They don’t stop asking me until I send them a Christmas list.   And they also want me to make a list for myself.  They care to give what one wishes and that is so very kind.

When I was growing up we did not do this.  Instead we were surprised with three or four gifts.  We also were encouraged to make gifts for one another.  I remember every year in October my sisters and I would start making things to give our loved ones and friends.  It was a great time!  On Christmas we took turns unwrapping.  We admired one anothers crafts and creativity.

My husband grew up receiving many of his gifts that he had on his list. He has great memories of Christmas mornings at his Grandparents who he is very fond of.   He remembers Christmas morning with wrapping paper everywhere as he dived bombed into his presents.

In our family of four we have decided to do the Christmas list.

Grandparents on his side of the family fill our living room floor full with colorful packages.   Our kids are delighted and they appreciate everything that they are given.   Just like their Dad, they also dive bomb through their gifts throwing wrapping paper everywhere.    It’s a colorful sight for sure!!!!

On my side of the family our loved ones still surprise us with a few gifts and my kids love sitting next to their Grandma on her comfy couch as she hands them her special package to unwrap.

When my kids are close to Grandma and hugging her, sadness feels my heart.  Their Grandpa is no longer with us and he would have enjoyed them.   They miss him and ask about him quit a bit.    Christmas is not the same when a loved one passes a way.

Grieving happens for many of us during the most wonderful time of the year.  The Holidays are not so wonderful for many.

But what makes Christmas the most wonderful time of year?  What do we consider wonderful?  What do we want our children to like the most about this season?

Is it the gifts?  Is it receiving the things on the list?  Is it shopping until we drop?

I want more for my kids.  Toys and gadgets put a smile on our faces!  But happiness is not eternal.  Joy in the heart is!!! Look how unhappy we get when we don’t have the money to spend on one another.   Or how in debt we get with plastic cards.

This is the first Christmas that we are unemployed and it’s stressful for me to spend money when there is very little coming in.    It makes me stop and think what Christmas really means to me.   It’s about time with family and friends.  It’s about remembering who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

I didn’t make a list this year filled with materialistic things.  Please don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing wrong with Christmas lists and gifts.  It’s fun!!!!

But my kids need something sustainable and memorable too.  Because someday I will be gone and I’m pretty sure they are not going to remember the gifts as much as they will remember what we did together as a family to celebrate Christ’s birth.

My Christmas Wish List Is This

-A Christmas decoration party with loved ones.

-A home filled with homemade food prepared by loving hands.

-Family members making time for one another.

-Time together singing Christmas songs in our living room

-Phone calls from long distance love ones

-Eating Christmas cookies next to the decorated tree

-Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus with a special cake

-Baking cookies and getting sprinkles everywhere

-Unpacking ornaments

-Giving gifts to others we don’t know

-Playing silly games

-Sledding and hot chocolate

-Reading Christmas books snuggled under a warm blanket

-Opening Christmas cards with thoughtful words for keepsake.

-Watching family videos of the kids when they were little and looking through scrapbooks of our life over the years.

-Going for family drives looking at Christmas lights

These are some of my hopes, longings, and desires.  These are the things we have done over the years and they never get old.  These are the type of memories that my children will cherish forever.

May they share their childhood stories with their children on Christmas eve for many years to come in their older years.

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